Great Britain

Arsene Wenger’s attempts to fix offside shambles blocked by FA and Fifa

ARSENE WENGER’S bid to fast-track new offside rules in time for Euro 2020 has hit the buffers.

The FA want to delay his proposed changes until 2021 — and Wenger also faces opposition from his new colleagues at Fifa.

SunSport revealed the former Arsenal manager’s masterplan to rule an attacking player will be deemed onside if any part of their body is level or behind the last defender.

Fifa’s new lawmaker Wenger insisted there “is time to do this very quickly”.

And he wanted to drive through the plans at next week’s International Football Association Board (Ifab) AGM in Belfast.

That would have seen the idea made part of the game from June 1 and rolled out for Euro 2020.


But FA chiefs, who will be at the AGM next week, will not commit to a law change before full discussions and tests have taken place.

If trials of the new system are demanded, that would rule out it being ready for this summer’s tournament.

It is understood the Frenchman’s plan has the backing of Fifa president Gianni Infantino and referees’ chief Pierluigi Collina, who can persuade Ifab to discuss and vote on it.

Ifab rules mean Wenger’s proposal needs the support of at least two of the Home Nations, who each have a vote on the eight-man panel. Fifa, who always vote as a bloc, have the other four.

What is Arsene changing?

IFAB offside law

“A player is in an OFFSIDE position if: Any part of the head, body or feet is in the opponents’ half (excluding the halfway line) and nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.”

Wenger offside law

“A player will be deemed ONSIDE if any part of the head, body or feet is level or behind the second-last opponent — even if other parts are in front.”

Wenger’s proposals have already been widely supported by supporters and managers, including Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

But pen-pusher Lukas Brud, general secretary of Ifab, suggested it was too late in the day for the law changes to be tabled.

That is despite Wenger having been asked by Infantino to come up with a solution to the issues caused by VAR in his new role as global football development chief.

Wenger, 70, said last night: “My objective, as well as Fifa’s, is to continuously think about ways to improve our game.
“We shouldn’t be afraid to debate them in public.

“But I am well aware any rule changes are subject to a standard approval process.

“That includes discussions with stakeholders and potential test phases, within the scope of the established Ifab framework.”

Arsene Wenger to launch major overhaul of offside law in bid to end VAR madness